Monday, November 30, 2009

Coach Colette Helps to Form Nonprofit Action Network

I'm delighted to let you know that my company, InStep Consulting LLC, has created an alliance with a diverse group of highly-skilled consultants called the Nonprofit Action Network. This multi-disciplinary group is dedicated to helping nonprofits address operational and funding challenges to achieve sustainability in 2010 and beyond.

Each of the 16 Nonprofit Action Network members brings a unique skillset and years of experience to our clients, having worked with over 370 different nonprofit organizations. Specific areas of expertise include:
  • Brand Development
  • Executive Coaching
  • Financial Management & Fundraising Strategies
  • Governance Training & Consulting
  • Marketing Communications
  • Organizational Development
  • Planned Giving & Endowment
  • Social Networking
  • Website Design & Development
The Nonprofit Action Network works with clients on three distinct levels:
  1. Providing individualized, direct services to create healthy, thriving nonprofits.
  2. Assembling diverse teams to provide a multi-pronged approach to meet client needs.
  3. Serving as thought leaders in our areas of expertise, advancing issues that are important and relevant to nonprofits through public speaking, articles and other media.
In addition to our own consulting practices, members of the Nonprofit Action Network are committed to making the world a better place. In 2009, we have proudly provided hundreds of hours of pro-bono services to the nonprofit community.

So, check us out online and meet the members of this fantastic new team! And, spread the word, if you know of nonprofit leaders who can benefit from our multifaceted expertise. Thanks!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Words of Thanks from Coach Colette

I can't believe that another year has almost concluded. I'm sure I say this every year; but it really does seem like it hasn't been that long since I created my 2009 vision board. Now, it's Thanksgiving and nearly time to get my vision for 2010 in focus.

As I reflect upon this past year, here are a few of the things I'm most thankful/grateful for:
  • I'm grateful for the opportunity to have spent much of this past year traveling the country and getting to meet so many wonderful people who are dedicated to improving their communities.
  • I'm grateful for the chance to collaborate with some fantastic, talented people in the design and delivery of training programs for our mutual clients.
  • I'm grateful for the clients who have included me into their worlds and allowed me to be a part of their future vision of a better world/work environment.
  • I'm grateful for all of the people who participated in my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration - both in person and virtually. These include my friends who helped me, their friends who shared favorite memories and thoughts, our extended family, and the people who worked to make the event a success.
  • I'm grateful for my parents, and for each celebration (large and small) we're able to share together.
  • I'm grateful for my friends who continue to stick by me and cheer me on in my efforts (despite my mood or actions).
  • I'm grateful for my own persistence and perseverance (ok, stubborness!) that enables me to continue even when I'm not sure of the outcome.
I'll close with the last part of the daily affirmation I've read to myself this year:
I give thanks for the immediate, complete, divine fulfillment of my desires. This or something better comes forth with perfect timing according to God's rich good for me.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your special ones!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Making a Change? What is 1-Degree of Transformation?

What a ride! In the past month, I've been to Minneapolis, MN; Long Beach Island, NJ; Decatur, IL; and St. Louis, MO. The PLA - "Turning the Page" Tour (and one team building retreat) really made me qualify for road warrior status! It's been fun, though. I love traveling the country and meeting my rowdy librarians -- and, yes, they know that's how I refer to them! :-)

The sessions I facilitate help public library directors and trustees demonstrate how they help solve community issues. I help them develop compelling stories about residents who have benefited -- or whose lives have been transformed as a result of a library service (like FREE access to computers).

Over the past year, I've talked a lot about transformation with participants. And, I've cautioned them to not be overwhelmed or disheartened by the word or concept -- because it can seem really big. "How can I find people in my community whose lives have been transformed?!" My advice has been to focus on the impact of even the most basic of services.

What do I mean? The person who submits a successful online job application via a free computer at the library may have experienced a significant economic, personal and/or professional impact from a "basic" service (computer access). The transformational story shares the before & after situation of this person - with facts and anecdotes that will "hook" us into wanting to know more about what the library does.

In St. Louis, we also discussed the challenge of transforming opinions or perceptions. "If the people in my community think our library only has books, how can I let them know we do so much more?" Again, we cannot be discouraged because the task seems daunting or too much to take on. We can focus on making the smallest change first -- the 1-Degree of Transformation (not to be confused with 6-Degrees of Separation, LOL!).

I began using this phrase and participants really seemed to respond. What's the 1-Degree of Transformation that will begin moving things in the right direction? I think it's a relevant strategy to consider for your work with other people, as well as for your own goal setting and personal development. For example, here are some questions to think about:
  • Clients/Colleagues/Supporters:
    • What small change in behavior/perception would be most relevant right now?
    • What would making that small change do for your working relationship? 
    • How can you help facilitate that small change?
  • Goal Setting/Personal Development
    • What small change in your behavior/perception would be most relevant for you right now?
    • What would taking that small step do for your outlook on your situation?
    • How can you make that small change?
What do YOU think? Let me know your thoughts and reactions to this 1-Degree of Transformation. And, as you try it out, let me know how it goes -- either comment here on the blog or tweet me at Coach_Colette.